Explorers Connect

Exploring Birding and Biodiversity Hotspots of Argentina

EC CommunityJames Hipkiss

Have you explored where nature's abundance flourishes like nowhere else on earth and biodiversity reaches its maximum expression? Have you seen the wild heart of the planet? Have you gazed on naked grandeur where there's nothing else to gaze on?

Well, now is your chance! Pacific Biodiversity Institute invites avid adventurers and birders to join a research expedition in the provinces of Salta and Jujuy in northwestern Argentina. These provinces are renowned for their rich biodiversity and beautiful landscapes. They are ecologically diverse, with imposing mountains, extensive sub-tropical and tropical forests, rivers, canyons, deserts, salt flats and high lakes.

The area is extremely rich in bird life, and other wild fauna and flora. Salta and Jujuy also contain some of the most colorful and vibrant culture in Argentina. Evidence of Inca and pre-Inca civilizations are found throughout the landscape. These provinces contain some of the most important unprotected wildlands in Argentina.The purpose of the expedition is twofold: 1) to gather more information about this region to aid in its further protection, 2) to introduce new people to this area of incredible contrasts, immense biodiversity, spectacular beauty and great conservation opportunity.

Those interested in joining this trip may contact PBI at expeditions@pacificbio.org. Further details can be found here: http://www.pacificbio.org/expeditions/salta_jujuy2014.html

In March 2-15 2014, we will explore the highest biodiversity areas in Argentina and see a broad spectrum of landscapes You will enjoy close contact with nature, local people and, at the same time, contribute to conservation science activities organized by PBI and local conservation NGOs.The expedition will be led by PBIs immensely talented Argentine conservation biologist, Lucila Castro. Lucila is fluent in both Spanish and English and has a deep knowledge of biology, ecology and Argentine culture. Lucila will give several evening presentations about the wildlife that we may encounter and will aid in bird and other wildlife identification throughout the trip. Gisella Peralta, another biologist working with PBI, will be the assistant leader and will aid in wildlife identification.

At the beginning of the trip, participants will meet Dr. Patricia Marconi, an ornithologist and conservationist. She will participate in hikes into the subtropical forests near Salta. During the last part of the expedition, Dr. Ricardo Torres, a professor of wildlife ecology and a bird expert from the Universidad Nacional de Cordoba, will join us to explore the tropical forests of Valle Grande and Parque Nacional Calilegua.